There is almost no way around it, breakups are awful. Whether you are initiating the breakup or are at the brunt of it, it’s just not fun. Often, when going through a breakup, we experience a roller-coaster of emotions, all of which basically take us through the 7 stages of grief – an understandable fact after presumably having your heart shredded by another human.
When you’ve reached the stage of “acceptance” I think it’s key to have a solid breakup playlist at your disposal to help you bounce back. Think of this stage more as “acceptance AND empowerment”. These aren’t the kinds of songs you’ll be crying into your ice cream over as you might some of the other stages of grief, these current tunes are perfect for making you feel like the strong, badass you know you are – ready for whatever comes your way next.
Tears Dry On Their Own, Amy Winehouse
Let’s be serious, Amy Winehouse is perfect for all occasions but Tears Dry On Their Own is ideal post breakup. Her immaculate vocals within her particular brand of soul reveal the story of someone self-aware, realizing that yes she is sad, but she understands that sometimes life happens and things don’t always work out.
F**ck You, CeeLo Green
This catchy number may make CeeLo seem a touch petty at face value, but frankly it seems as though he’s earned it. He’s a man scorn! Through his anger CeeLo still finds a way to say “I know there’s pain in my chest / but I wish you the best”. It’s possible to be angry and not too resentful.
Broken Heart, Dr. Dog
Indie rockers Dr. Dog experience a broken heart for the first time and try to see the bright side of things. Through their signature wails, harmonies and foot stomping chords it’s easy to feel the shift from sadness to relief in a song that is fairly relatable.
Somebody That I Used to Know, Gotye with Kimbra
This track, about heartache, is a true understated winner in terms of breakup songs. The playful xylophone is an excellent offset to the woeful lyricism. Gotye is doing what so many of us do after a breakup; obsess over everything trying to determine where things went wrong ultimately leading to him coming to terms with his feeling about the situation.
Dancing On My Own, Robyn
Robyn is a queen when it comes to matters of the heart. Dancing On My Own, while it sounds like a song you would dance around your apartment to (that beat!) is in actuality so sad and so relatable for many of us. This song really pulls at those heartstrings and acts as a testament to that post breakup endurance. It’s difficult to stop feeling sad, but it’s what you do with the sadness that matters – at least that’s what Robyn teaches us.
Love Myself, Hailee Steinfeld
If there is something bubblegum power pop is good for its creating an ear wormy back beat to repetitive lyrics. In this case Hailee Steinfeld’s Love Myself is just the mantra everyone needs after heartbreak. You will definitely be standing taller after this one.
I Love It, Icona Pop with Charli XCX
A tune so full of life and screw you lyrics, not only is I Love It a great dance party inducing jam, it’s bound to help anyone suffering from heartache recover.
I’m Not Your Toy, La Roux
A little synthpop to get you back on your feet. This song just feels like a girl putting her life back together and totally taking control of her situation and it’s great.
Ain’t Nobody’s Problem,The Lumineers
This track is originally by Sawmill Joe, made popular by The Lumineers. If it’s conviction you’re after this tune has got you covered. Not only will you want to listen to it on repeat, but the lyrical directness in the chorus is exactly what is needed sometimes.
I’ll Be Alright,Passion Pit
Something that is often taken for granted after a breakup is self-care. Passion Pit tackles an unruly situation in indie power pop, using falsetto to emphasize that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. At first glance I’ll Be Alrightsounds like a song that wouldn’t have much depth, but on the contrary it offers much needed basic guidance. And it’s fun to dance to while blaring into headphones.
I Sat By the Ocean,Queens of the Stone Age
A breakup song hidden in somber, hooky guitar riffs and Josh Homme-esque arrangements, you can’t go wrong. This tune is self-realizing, eerie, and tells a full story. If you want to get over someone or have already gotten over them and are in the stage of moving on this one will help you feel justified. QOTSA also offer a much needed element of tough love to help you get back on your way; “There ain’t no use in cryin’ / It doesn’t change anything, so baby what good does it do?”
Never Gonna Get MyLove, The Sheepdogs
This song might not lift you up, but it’ll make you think. Boogie rock with awesome harmonies can do that. An important line in this one is “it’s not easy to be alone” which reveals a common thought that follows a breakup. There is juxtaposition in this track that isn’t so prevalent in a lot of breakup songs – the relationship situation isn’t completely clear. That being said the song reeks of heartache, builds with perseverance and self- respect.